Calls for transparency stem from concerns that researchers’ ties to the health and drug industries increase the odds they will, consciously or not, skew results to favor the companies with whom they do business. Studies have found that industry-sponsored research tends to be more positive than research financed by other sources. And that in turn can sway which treatments become available to patients. There is no indication that the research done by Dr. Burris and the other doctors with incomplete disclosures was manipulated or falsified.
Journal editors say they are introducing changes that will better standardize disclosures and reduce errors. But some have also argued that since most researchers follow the rules, stringent new requirements would be costly and unnecessary.
The issue has gained traction since September, when Dr. José Baselga, who was the chief medical officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, resigned after The Times and ProPublica reported that he had not revealed his industry ties in dozens of journal articles.
Dr. Burris, president of clinical operations and chief medical officer at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, referred questions about the payments to his employer. It defended him, saying the payments were made to the institution, although The New England Journal of Medicine requires disclosure of all such payments.
Other prominent researchers who have submitted erroneous disclosures include Dr. Robert J. Alpern, the dean of the Yale School of Medicine, who failed to disclose in a 2017 journal article about an experimental treatment developed by Tricida that he served on that company’s board of directors and owned its stock. Tricida, which is developing therapies for chronic kidney disease, had financed the clinical trial that was the subject of the article.
Dr. Alpern said in an email that he initially believed that his disclosure — that he had been a consultant for Tricida — was adequate. However, “because of concerns recently raised about disclosures,” he said he notified the publication, The Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, in October that he also served on Tricida’s board and had stock holdings in the company.
Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/08/health/medical-journals-conflicts-of-interest.html446